Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth." (Jn. 14:15-21)
Exactly what is a paraclete? Paraclete comes from the Greek word parakletos, which means advocate, helper, comforter, one who runs along side of’ and is used only in John’s gospel to describe the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the ‘ANOTHER’ advocate spoken of in John 14 who is sent by the Father to testify on Jesus’ behalf when Jesus returned to the Father. Because the Holy Spirit is referred to as ANOTHER Paraclete, that implies that there was a Paraclete before him. Jesus is the ORIGINAL Paraclete who was sent to us by the Father to advocate, help, comfort, run along side us, and reconcile us to the Father, etc. However, when Jesus’ time came for him to return to the Father, he did not want to leave us as orphans or comfortless so he asked the Father to send us someone to take his place. He told the disciples that if he did not go, the Holy Spirit could not come. It was to their advantage that he go because, as Jesus, he was fully divine and fully human yet restricted in his humanity as to where he could go in his physical, human body. But when the Holy Spirit comes, Jesus tells the disciples that He will be with them AND in them forever.
Umm, just think about it; advocate, helper, comforter, sent by God to testify on behalf of Jesus. Does that sound like someone you know? My Mom, Lillie Daniel, was my greatest advocate, helper, comforter (and a great hugger and cook), and my first introduction, along with my Dad to the love of Jesus. She was another paraclete!
As Catholic Christian Moms, our main responsibility to our children is to have our children baptized, placed under the covering, and filled with the Holy Spirit. However, we also are in our children and with our children even when we are not in their physical presence. We get into their heads and hearts by what we say and the example we live. Have you ever wanted to do something you knew was wrong, and you heard your mother’s voice telling you ‘No’? Even though she was nowhere around, she was still exerting influence over you. She wasn’t there, but she was there! In the same way, the OTHER paraclete daily exerts influence over us and leads us to all truth. I don’t know about you, but I have learned to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit just as my son recognizes my voice. John 10 says, ‘my sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me.’ (My greatest desire is for my son to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit as well as he recognizes my voice)
The Holy Spirit walks alongside us and our children to strengthen us in times of weakness, comfort us when in despair and help us to live a holy life. He is in us and among us to teach us deep truths. He protects and guides us and if we allow, makes his home in us.
I am a mother of an adoptive son who is God’s greatest gift to me and my family! He does not look like me as he is tall, dark, and very handsome, but everyone tells me, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, he has my spirit. He couldn’t be more like me if I had birthed him. He does not have my biological DNA, but he certainly has my spiritual DNA. Motherhood is passing on your spirit to your children.
On this Mother’s Day, my message to all mothers, especially those with young children, is to continue to talk to your children about Jesus and show them His love. Many times, they will say they don’t want to hear it but talk and show them anyway. Continue to be their staunchest advocates and loving comforters. This is the way we live in them forever, and even when we are no longer here physically, and we have been called home to the Father, they will have THE OTHER paraclete and ANOTHER paraclete advocating, comforting, helping, walking alongside and testifying on behalf of Jesus.
Happy Mother's Day
Author: sj daniel, MSW, LICSW, CEO, LSD & Associates, Inc. Member of St. Teresa of Avila, Washington, DC.